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Black Ice

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This is what we get before most snows, and northerners say we can't drive in winter weather.

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If the bridge had been "sanded" (sand spread on the surface) that would not have happened. Bridges are notorious for being the first to ice up because they are metal and they get colder much faster than the pavement laid on the ground.

Much of the problem in southern states is the due to the lack of equipment as well as no sand or salt supplies to treat the roads.

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Bridges are also concrete but freeze first like steel bridges. My aunt hit black ice on I-70, spun around three times and hit the guardrail tail first. Lack of equipment...I lived in central Kentucky. They had rhe equipment but if it snowed Friday night, they weren't out until Monday morning. By that time, the snow was packed solid. Born and raised in Ohio. ODOT people were on 24 hour call from Octobet 1st. to April 1st. Remember snowplows and salt trucks at major intersections in Columbus, waiting to get enough snow to spread salt.

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Bridges don't freeze first because of the steel or concrete.  They freeze first because they are exposed to the cold all the way through.  The ground keeps the roads a little warmer than the air, usually.  

If black ice conditions could be predicted reliably, then I am sure the "powers that be" would pre-sand or pre-salt the roads.

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Connecticut must have some good crystal ball gazers in the department of transportation as they usually spray a liquid salty solution well before an incoming storm on the bridges of our major highways

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I haven't seen sand used in years. Our roads and bridges get the brine treatment as well which works wonders. Road salt gets thrown on ice and snow after not before.  Problem with black ice is it can pop up anywhere in incredibly small patches anytime the temp is below freezing making predicting it difficult. 

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I lived in Louisville, KY for three years. They had a great way to treat the roads and there was no cost except for the expense of the fuel and drivers. The coal-fired power plant had tons of cinders that were spread on the streets. It didn't cause vehicles to rust as I had seen while growing up in Ohio. Your car looked nasty but the cinders were easily hosed off.

Ohio watched the weather during the snow months. We would get the fronts, Lake Erie effect, that picked up moisture from the lake, moved south and dumped it on Ohio from the north shore until it fizzled out as it moved south.

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black ice isnt just on bridges. it can for on any road surface

in the video, not sure if the highway exit in the background where most of the vehicles are piled up is actually on a bridge

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On 4/20/2021 at 11:56 AM, dogfacedoc said:

This is what we get before most snows, and northerners say we can't drive in winter weather.

Having lived most of my adult life in MN I can reliably say most people up there can't drive for crap in snow or ice either. I used to go to work early and put radio and listen to the crash reports around the metro in Mnpls/StPaul. Front wheel drive and 4x4 SUVs were great if you used them correctly and paid attention to the roads and braking distance. One spring the snow banks had melted down to a berm. Then we had a freezing rain and that night on "rush hour" there was something like 60 rollovers from SUVs skidding, hitting the berm lip and going over. Body shops loved it but I had backroads I could take to and from work to miss the freeways and main roads during that kind of weather.

One time I on my way home from work in IL and crossing a curving bridge with elevation change and black ice had covered it. I came around the curve to the right and downslope and a car in left lane in front of me lost it. He turned sideways right in my lane. I eased off gas and readied for the crash. As I came up on his rear end at impact zone he kept spinning slowly and next thing I knew he was alongside facing the wrong direction. I kept going, he kept spinning and as I watched the rear view mirror the car behind nailed him. I'd like to chalk it up to my great reflexes back in those days but I know better. Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield. That time I was lucky.

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I have a Mercedes E class with active drive assist. One winter, I was getting off of the interstate. The exit ramp was a progressively increasing radius right hand loop. The left side of the ramp was iced up and I started to drift to the left off of the exit ramp and the car took over . The car hit the brake on only the right rear wheel and that cause the car to swing more to the right and back on to the middle of the exit ramp.

 

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Ahh yes, a Mercedes E class. Well, for those of us with a 2004 Ford F150 in the driveway... Actually, my wife's 2019 Suburu has active 4 wheel drive and my kid had it out during a rare winter storm in OK and he said you couldn't spin it out. He's driven a lot of rigs including my 4x4 truck and said it's the best control of any he's ever been in in snow/ice conditions. Even so you have to use your head and not expect all modern technology to make up for stupidity, though it does try to.

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Subarus are probably the best vehicle made. They are the only true 4 wheel drive vehicle out there. Even 4 by 4 trucks are not true 4 wheel drive vehicles. A Subaru has continuious power going to all four wheels all the time. Nothing needs to slip, there is no transfer of power. Every wheel has power going to it 100% of the time. Don't be fooled by fake 4 wheel drive that is billed as 4 wheel drive nowadays. Subaru also has a boxer engine where the cylinders are horizontal which vastly lowers the center of gravity. The lower center of gravity can best be felt when cornering because there is far less weight shifting roll taking place. It's very noticeably less. The constant four wheel drive and lower center of gravity, yet with more ground clearance, makes any Subaru feel very connected to the road. I'd take my wife's Subaru anywhere I would take my truck, just like they do in the commercials, it's for real. 

As for ice, I don't drive on it because I know it can't be safely driven on with any vehicle. 

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Not to nit pick, but you have Four wheel drive mixed up with All wheel drive Greg. 4x4 trucks have been full time and part time 4 wheel drive. Back in the day we'd convert our full time 4wd trucks over to part time by swapping in some Warn hubs and other parts, but they were still four wheel drive. All wheel drive is full time power to all four wheels without a transfer case, but then you lose the advantage of 4L range.

Both are good and have their advantages and disadvantages. But there is a difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive, and what you are talking about is all wheel drive.

And totally agree about Subaru. I'm actually gonna probably look for an Outback for myself in the next couple years. Great fish cars that will go 500,000+ miles without blinking an eye :)

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No worries, I enjoy a good discussion. I agree AWD is suppose to provide equal power to all four wheels all the time but that's not what's happening in every AWD vehicle that's not a Subaru. Typical AWD vehicles operate as front wheel drive and when the front wheel slips some power is transferred to the rear tires. When the slipping stops so does the power to the other wheels. Some go cross corner but never are all four wheels under equal power all the time. In a Subaru all four tires have equal power all the time and no slippage is required. It is a true all the time 4 wheel drive (without a transfer case) or true to the words AWD system.  In actuality  AWD and 4WD should be the same thing but they are not in the car world because what is billed as AWD is actually not AWD. Fake AWD does have its benifits in better gas mileage and they are very good in snow so like everything  else there's a small trade off for a true AWD/4WD. This is why Subarus make great outdoorsy type vehicles and you actually see people outfitting them as off road vehicles. 

My wife has the Outback XT with the turbo charged 4 cylinder. Having been raised on big v8's I'm amazed that they can squeeze 260 HP out of a 4 cylinder. Without the turbo they only crank out 180 HP and are a little on the slow side. I think you would be very happy with an outback during a Michigan winter. I do have a 2500HD pick up truck for the deep snow storms but who drives in the big storms anymore, not me. 

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